Did you know that vanilla is regarded as the all-time most popular candle scent? We are often asked why there is not a Way Out Wax all-natural candle scented with vanilla. Our explanation always begins with our promise to only make pure, botanical essential oil candles. Therefore, we are limited to the realms of using only pure essential oils AND vanilla is often loosely referred to as an essential oil, when in fact it is usually an oleoresin or absolute (or a much cheaper synthetic fragrance imitation!).
There are two forms of natural vanilla essence that we have considered working with. One is called ‘vanilla oleoresin’ and the other is called ‘vanilla absolute’. These are obtained from the vanilla plant a little differently than the usual processes of steam or CO2 distillation (which is used to extract the essences of these amazing plants). These forms of the vanilla scent are extracted by using a solvent. We have done extensive research and development with these components (the vanilla oleoresin and absolute) in hopes of launching a vanilla candle that performs with the same qualities as our other aromas. Unfortunately, the scent throw was too weak, even in the largest of our pillars. We felt that it did not share the complexity of the vanilla aroma one gets from smelling the actual bean and decided not to launch a candle that does not meet our rigorous quality and purity standards.
For a little more information on this distinction (including confirmation that Vanilla oleoresin isn’t stable in candle making applications), visit vanilla.com. Vanilla absolute usually costs between $50 and $100 per ounce (depending on quality and organic status). Our glass tumbler candles generally use at least a half an ounce of oil for fragrance.
TRANSLATION: a candle that normally costs $15.99 retail that is scented with ONLY Vanilla absolute would have cost us a bare minimum of $25 to $50 in essential oil!
So call us vanilla snobs, but buyers beware! Most of the scented vanilla candles out there are scented using synthetic fragrances, which sadly may include phthalates and petrochemical derived additives. So if a candle maker is making the claim that they are using a vanilla essential oil or an ‘all-natural’ vanilla and the candle isn’t exorbitantly expensive, they may be pulling your leg. Vanilla absolutes are great in applications like perfumery, where a little goes a long way (and the retail price reflects the expensive ingredients).
At the end of the day, we are not trying to discourage people from purchasing vanilla candles. There are ‘all natural fragrance oils’ that are used to replicate the vanilla smell. Just be aware, use your nose, and ASK QUESTIONS!!